The Goat of Christmas Past

E get this wise man wey talk something, e say, “things dey work out pass for those people wey dey make the best of how things work out”. The guy sabi die. Different ways dey wey things fit sup for this life, but na how and wetin you use am do, na him go make the different between whether you succeed to live another day, or you no succeed. Na person wey no plan well dey end up inside stew.

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Definitely not a Dickens kind story.

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E get this wise man wey talk something, e say, “things dey work out pass for those people wey dey make the best of how things work out”. The guy sabi die. Different ways dey wey things fit sup for this life, but na how and wetin you use am do, na him go make the different between whether you succeed to live another day, or you no succeed. Na person wey no plan well dey end up inside stew. If you play your cards right, na you go tanda in the near future with better lems, dey give people advice.

Make I clear you my story, maybe by the time wey I don finish, you go understand wetin I dey talk.

Okay, make I introduce myself. My name na Goat. Look me, yes you, look me. No dey look that fat woman wey stand there for road. No be nyash be that, that na person wey fat true true Continue reading “The Goat of Christmas Past”

Nwin-Nwin: The Legend Begins

Dedicated to the most self-less man I ever knew and the few stories he could tell me

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In Africa, the sun rises and sets without warning, and the winds blow through the old forests with the songs of legends, the marks of their passing staining the blood-red sands.

And some of those legends are true.

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In the old Edo, the first true black civilization, the empire was home to many tribes and cultures. Bound together by the Obas who ruled after the era of the Ogisos, the sky kings, it stretched almost five thousand miles in either direction; from the steppes of the Dahomey to the swamps of the Niger Delta. Within were the Itshekiri, the Etsako, the proud Ijaws and Urhobos, the noble Esan, the big and powerful Binis and the Igbos both west and east of the Niger River. All paid homage to the Oba and in turn were blessed by him, for the Oba was more than just a man, the Oba was king, the Oba was god on Earth.

Oba ghato kpe e!

The Bini empire was called Edo and it was powerful, the envy of the neighboring kingdoms to the west and the north. Their trade guilds employed the most skilled of artisans; blacksmiths and hunters, their warriors, soldiers from birth, trained in the knife, spear and hand-to-hand combat, and also in the finer arts of war and strategy and juju. It was strategy that led to the building of the Bini moats and high wall which surround the capital of the Edo Empire at Benin City, till this day. Moats that were built with the aid of giants enslaved and brought from across the deserts. Strategy and wisdom, both physical and spiritual.

The warriors who came from all over the kingdom, all swore allegiance to the throne of the Oba, and whether Esan or Ijaw, all spoke the lingua franca, a bastardization of the Bini language, known as the Edo language. Within this military were special cadres, the strategists, the juju priests and the elite warriors. This is a story of one of those elite warriors, and as with such tales, it began at night… Continue reading “Nwin-Nwin: The Legend Begins”

How I nearly got killed because of a sugar mummy in Port Harcourt

Sugar mummies in Port Harcourt are a serious thing. A really serious thing. It has not been one time or twice that I have been propositioned. There is a lurid satisfaction that comes with being the object of sexual attraction of someone 15-20 years older than you. Anyway, this is one of my stories of what happened.

When I first came to Port Harcourt four years ago, I was young, bright-eyed and hungry. I had come from my little town in Benin City and I was determined to make sure I made money in Port Harcourt before I headed back. Very quickly, one of the first things I did was to start a business. I registered a company with the CAC and started searching for clients everywhere I could.

One day while talking business with a potential client who was the owner of a beauty salon in GRA Phase 2, I was called over to a lady who was getting her hair braided. She asked me what I did and then gave me her business card and told me to call her the next day. I was overjoyed. It seemed like all my dreams were about to come true. Not only had I been able to meet a potential client, I was also going to get a second one. I was so happy.

As soon as I got home, I called the lady. She quickly told me to call her later and sent me a text message to meet her the following day at a restaurant in GRA. I was so excited. I spent the whole night writing and rewriting proposals I will present to her. When power went, I ran outside and bought a few litres of petrol to run my generator so I could print out enough proposals for our meeting. Continue reading “How I nearly got killed because of a sugar mummy in Port Harcourt”

Guitar boy

Been awhile since I was, bitten, possessed, with the insane desire that makes me race for the nearest laptop, tongue hanging out in glee, foamy spittle flying out my mouth, to put down words in a story. Been writing boring stuff for work though. But yesterday as I heard the strings from Victor Uwaifo while bumping down a, well, bumpy road in a rickety rickshaw keke that had long outlived its shock absorber, I was stung. Make of it what you will, but this is a story about music, and it’s power.

www.aljanusi.wordpress.com Guitar boy
For Sir Victor Uwaifo, Living Legend

Now playing: Guitar boy – Sir Victor Uwaifo

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Benin City, Old Bendel State

November 23, 1972

 

 

“Guitar boy! Guitar boy

If you see mammywata, never, never run away eeeh ehh..”

His slim fingers raced down the strings as if of their own accord, they were long and thin, those fingers, as if starved of the very life with which they coursed along the neck of the guitar, weaving magic. The nails were cut short, just before the hard pads, which thumped down on the frets, moving from key to key as he strummed the six stringed acoustic. As his fingers slid down the guitar, punctuating the rhythm, it seemed as though, almost imperceptibly, that smoke curled from the strings, a mere shadow perhaps, but tendrils wafting out from beneath the bowed head of the player, and on to the audience.

Continue reading “Guitar boy”

The Nice and Similar Travails of Asemota Jane

Too be very honest, this story is not completely based off a true one. The operative word here is completely. However, it is really a cliched, Evil Irumi kind guy meets the Beauty type. You do know the story of the Irumi right? The one where the really handsome guy comes to marry the girl with all the money and then halfway on the way to the guy’s house, she discovers he is actually a monster with his face at the back of his head and she regrets rejecting the other suitors? Basically, the original African story from where Shakespeare’s modified Taming of the Shrew appeared from. Okay, too long an intro. Just read will you…

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The Nice and Similar Travails of Asemota Jane

When she first met Eric she had been sitting at the side of a pool in Sapele. It was a sunny day and she and her friends had decided to come out to play. It wasn’t often that the sun decided to shine in Sapele and whenever it did, everybody came out. Everybody young and carefree that is, most of those who did not care or had no friends stayed in anyway. The truly unfortunate thing when she thought back to that day was that she had been alone. Perhaps if she had been with her friends, a fully clustered bevy of buzzing bees, the young men would not have come to her. But as it was, they did, and for her, that is how most of the story began.

Continue reading “The Nice and Similar Travails of Asemota Jane”

Two Tales

NUDITY, FOOD AND THINGS THAT CAUSE HATE

There I was, wet body with a bar of amber colored Fair & White Gold soap in my hand, single gold chain atop my slim hips, hair net on my head removing hair from my neck, bambi eyes wider than a saucer and mouth open in shock as the door to the bathroom creaked open and a pair of eyes ogled the spectacle. This was followed by a high-pitched slightly maniacal laughter as my embarrassment doubled and my yellow skin flushed as my heart beat tripled.

Oh no.

“Sister Simi, sorry o”, the owner of the slightly maniacal laughter said as she pinched her accomplice who walked back to the living room of my two-bedroom flat, holding his pinched arm. I could swear that I saw a tingle of accomplishment in her eyes and I looked at her in disbelief.

God.

“I didn’t know you were inside the bathroom o. How are you now? Please come and give me M&B paracetamol, I’m having a slight headache. How is your weekend going? Hope no problem.”

“I… I… I’m coming. I’ll be done soon.”

“Okay. I hope you cooked o. so I can take the paracetamol before we go for rehearsal.”
And she sauntered off to the direction of the living room in her very ugly red blouse and pink leggings like nothing happened.

I closed the door and sat down with my bare buttocks on the cold tiles, cursing myself for giving her an extra key to my house. As I stood up two minutes later when my mouth closed and completed my bath, I heard the TV change from SoundCity to Africa Magic Yoruba. Anger peered its head in my chest, amazed at the audacity of this woman and terrible words from a dark place in my heart began to take form.
I got out, got dressed and as I made my way to the living room with my car keys, I stopped short as the smell of my Hot-dog and Shrimp sauce wafted to my nostrils.

Jesus no. Jesus no. Jesus, please, no.

I ran the remaining steps to find my Hot-dog and Shrimp sauce on two plates with my Ofada rice beside it. There was no way both of them were eating and there was any left in the pot for me.

“Aunty Simi,” Ayinde said as he sat on the floor, my food between his small parted legs, “do you have Bobo?”
His mother threw her head back and laughed again, choking a little as the food in her mouth passed the wrong tunnel.
In that moment, my eyes filled with tears and I garnered all the hate I could muster and promised to unleash it in future on this five year old boy and his mother.

 

 

STOLEN KISSES

When I pouted my lips and closed my eyes, I didn’t know what to expect but the last thing, and I mean the very last thing on my mind was to feel Christian’s lips on my own after responding to his ‘Simi kiss me now’ with ‘Oya take’ inside the board room of our office with Isaiah sitting directly opposite us, his brows squeezed in concentration as he stared at his MacBook Pro laptop. Christian had withdrawn with a grin as soon as my eyes flung wide open in utter disbelief. If he had looked away and pretended as if nothing happened, I would have told myself that it was only my imagination but he just stared and smiled and I swiveled my chair away from him. Very good. I am now an office slut. From Shedrach taking me home in his rickety Toyota Corolla all the way to Satellite Town where he had never been before in his entire life before meeting me and having to find his way back to his house in Oshodi every Thursday when we closed earliest in the week to Musa who bought me lunch every day as he asked the same ‘So when are we going on a proper date outside this office environment?’.

Office slut. I couldn’t wait to tell Lamide. She always knew what to do.

 

P.S.

I actually do have a Tele’s Hot-dog & Shrimp sauce and believe it or not, it’s awesome.

Both stories are based on true events.

War

It is easy to ignore what happens around us, in the spiritual. We live on this earth so surrounded by desires and commitments, so overwhelmed by cares of this world, we pay no attention to the war that happens around us, a war that would not stop until the end; until the end of all things. We were born into this war, and it is wise we pay attention, or we would not survive it.

#OST: Linkin Park – Wastelands

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WAR

The night was dark and the wind howled around the treetops, swaying them beneath the starless sky. The scent of danger lay thickly upon the air, a pungent smell easily detected by the more visceral senses, and on the ground and within the branches, creatures hid in nests and burrows, and even the serpentine and nocturnal slithered and crouched deep away from sight.

The dark shapes streaked through the clouds, crackling through the air with lightening in their wake, nebulous forms as of thundery dark and winding clouds, they twisted about each other, moving through the air heading for the forest below. Spiraling around each other, the dark clouds spun in the night, winding tighter and tighter as though to drill into the earth. Sparrows cried in the night, bats shrieked and owls hooted, a cacophony of calls and wails as the forest protesting the intrusion. The shapes tore through the forest canopy with the sound of rushing wings and slammed into a clearing at three distinct spots. Instantly all went silent as the dark shapes resolved into the forms of three women. Continue reading “War”